Friday 9 December 2016

Paris terror suspect Salah Abdeslam to be extradited to France to face charges

Published 31/03/2016 | 21:27

Abdeslam brought into custody by armed officers after they raided an apartment in the Molenbeek neighbourhood of Brussels on Friday
Abdeslam brought into custody by armed officers after they raided an apartment in the Molenbeek neighbourhood of Brussels on Friday

A Belgian court decided on Thursday that Paris attacks suspect Salah Abdeslam could be extradited to France, Belgium's federal prosecutors said.

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A lawyer for Abdeslam said earlier that Abdeslam had dropped his initial objection to being extradited and had also renewed an offer to cooperate with French authorities investigating the Nov. 13 attacks that killed 130 people.

"Salah Abdeslam wishes to be transferred to the French authorities," lawyer Cedric Moisse told reporters. "He wishes to cooperate with the French authorities."

Prosecutors said France and Belgium would now discuss how to proceed with the transfer, which the French Justice Ministry said should take place within the next 10 days.

An ambulence leaves a prison in Bruges where Salah Abdeslam is being held, Belgium, March 19, 2016. Salah Abdeslam, the most-wanted fugitive from November's Paris attacks, was arrested after a shootout with police in Brussels on Friday
An ambulence leaves a prison in Bruges where Salah Abdeslam is being held, Belgium, March 19, 2016. Salah Abdeslam, the most-wanted fugitive from November's Paris attacks, was arrested after a shootout with police in Brussels on Friday

After his arrest in Brussels on March 18, Abdeslam answered some investigators' questions but then exercised his right to silence following the suicide bombings in Brussels on March 22 that killed 32 people.

Investigators believe the attacks in Paris and Brussels were carried out by militants from the same Islamic State network.

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